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India, Switzerland to renegotiate tax treaty
October, 22nd 2009

The government today said it would renegotiate the taxation treaty with Switzerland under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention.

...There is a provision in OECD...The article 26, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters when asked about the proposed talks with Swiss authorities later this year.

The negotiations are expected to take place in the wake of the issue of black money stashed away in Swiss banks that has created a political furore in the country, and India has sought details related to the same from Swiss authorities.

OECD sets the international tax standards. Article 26 of the OECD Model Convention on Income and Capital, covers tax of every kind and description and allows for exchange of tax-related information between two countries.

In August, Mukherjee had said that India and Switzerland would meet in December to negotiate amendments in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. The Swiss banks in August had said that India could not come on a fishing expedition for secret bank account details.

Mukherjee had later made it clear that India was not interested in a roving inquiry over unaccounted money stashed away in Swiss banks.

The Swiss Ambassador to India had recently said that Switzerland was willing to open negotiations on disclosing data information about black money. Switzerland will completely live up to the legitimate expectations out of the treaty... For release of data in the future.

The (amended) treaty would be possibly adapted, revived and then we will live up to the new obligations..., he had told a private news channel.

According to him, most probably Indians would ask for the inclusion of tax evasion in the set of provisions of the treaty, which would mean that the release of data would be possible.

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